What are the benefits of vegetables and fruits of different colors?

These days, dietitians are more and more likely to give the strange, at first glance, advice: “Eat more colorful things.” No, it is, of course, not about lollipops, but about vegetables and fruits of different colors! Plant-based vegan foods have been found to contain chemicals called phytonutrients that are not only extremely beneficial to health and protect against many diseases, but also give foods their bright color.

Scientists have found a relationship between color and beneficial properties of phytonutrients. Surely you would be curious to know what is the meaning and what benefits are hidden behind each specific color – today we will share this information with you. But before we get to the scientific facts, it’s worth pointing out that it’s been proven that colorful, beautiful, bright food is healthy simply because of its attractive appearance. stimulates a healthy appetite! This is especially important in baby food – after all, children are sometimes capricious and do not want to eat. But who would refuse a plate of delicious “rainbow”? After all, we all – both children and adults – eat first with our “eyes”. Food should bring not only benefits, but also joy: saturate, including mentally.  

And now about the ratio of the colors of vegetables and fruits and the nutrients they contain.

1. Red

Red vegan foods are high in beta-carotene (vitamin A), fiber and antioxidants: vitamin C, flavonol, lycopene. These substances protect the body from the action of free radicals, from cancer and cardiovascular disease, and also provide tangible support to the digestive system.

Red fruits (by the way, they are not only healthy and tasty, but also beautiful!): watermelon, cranberries, raspberries, red grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, red varieties of apples. Vegetables: Beets, red peppers (both cayenne and paprika), tomatoes, radishes, red potatoes, red onions, chicory, rhubarb.

2. Orange

Orange fruits and vegetables are very useful, because. contain many antioxidants, including beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene (which is converted into vitamin A in the body). They improve the health of the eyes, skin and respiratory system, help with arthritis, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. These antioxidants also boost the immune system.

Fruits: oranges (of course!), tangerines, nectarines, apricots, cantaloupe (cantaloupe), mangoes, papaya, peaches. Vegetables: butternut squash (“walnut” or “musk” gourd), carrots, squash, sweet potatoes.

3. Yellow

Yellow foods are rich in carotenoids (antioxidants that protect against cancer, retinal diseases, and cardiovascular disease) and bioflavonoids, which have a positive effect on the production of collagen (which is responsible for beauty!), Tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Yellow fruits and vegetables invariably contain vitamin C (which has anti-inflammatory effects), as well as vitamin A, potassium, and lycopene.

Fruits: lemon, citron finger (“Buddha’s hand”), pineapple, yellow pear, yellow fig. Vegetables: , yellow tomatoes, yellow peppers, corn (scientifically speaking, this is not a vegetable, but a grain crop), and yellow (“golden”) beets.

4. Green

Not surprisingly, green vegetables and fruits are traditionally considered extremely healthy, as they contain vitamins A, C, K, antioxidants, as well as chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin and folic acid. Green vegetables help reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol and the risk of cancer, normalize high blood pressure. They are also good for the eyes, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion (due to their high fiber content), and provide the body with calcium, which is important for bones and teeth.

Fruits: kiwifruit, green tomatoes, zucchini, sweet green peppers, pears, avocados, green grapes, green apples, round ” Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, celery, peas, green beans, artichokes, okra, and all dark leafy greens greens (different types of spinach, kale and other varieties).

5. Blue and purple

Scientists had to combine blue and purple fruits and vegetables into one group, because. it is impossible to separate them chemically. Products look blue or purple due to the content of substances such as and. The final color will depend on the acid-base balance of the product.

Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects, help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and are useful in the fight against obesity and overweight. Resveratrol is a substance that prevents aging, has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, and also lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Blue and purple foods contain lutein (important for good vision), vitamin C, and are generally beneficial for health and longevity.

Fruits: blueberries, blackberries, figs (figs), dark grapes, currants, plums, olives, prunes, elderberries, acai berries, maqui berries, raisins. Vegetables: eggplant, purple asparagus, red cabbage, purple carrots, purple-fleshed potatoes.

6. White brown

You can get so carried away eating delicious multi-colored vegetables and fruits that you completely forget about … white ones! And this will be a big mistake, because they contain beneficial substances – anthoxanthins (which help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure), as well as sulfur (it cleanses the liver of toxins, is useful for protein structure and skin health), allicin (it has anti-cancer properties). ) and quercetin (anti-inflammatory action).

White fruits and vegetables strengthen the immune system and help control weight. The most useful of them are dark (brown) outside and white inside (for example, like a pear or Other healthy white foods: cauliflower, white cabbage, onions, garlic, mushrooms, ginger, Jerusalem artichoke, parsnips, kohlrabi, turnips, potatoes, fennel and white (sugar) corn.

7. Black

Another color that you don’t think about at first, imagining a fruit and vegetable “rainbow”! But you can’t lose sight of it, because many black fruits and vegetables are recognized as superfoods. Black vegan foods are usually the ones that contain the most antioxidants, which is why their coloring is so intense. It’s a great source of anthocyanins, powerful phytonutrients that fight heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer!

Black foods (do not just list fruits and vegetables): black lentils, black or wild rice, black garlic, shiitake mushrooms, black beans, and black chia seeds.

This is such a wonderful fruit and vegetable palette. As a useful experiment, try eating a different color of food every day for seven days – and on the weekend you can say that you “ate a rainbow” in a week!

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